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The Best of Verbal Assault

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The Best of Verbal Assault


Published January 1, 1985


In the early 1980's, Boston beatnik poet and "authority on everything" Rocco Giuliano conceived VERBAL ASSAULT, a 10 minute radio show in which he lectured the audience on the pitfalls of modern life while simultaneously berating them for being worthless scum. The show was produced by Joe Tyburczy in his Newton, Mass. home studio and syndicated to many college and "progressive" radio stations as well as international shortwave pirate broadcasters including Music Radio Holland, The Voice of Venus, Fantasy Broadcast Service and the legendary Radio Free Augsburg of West Germany. A 1984 issue of the magazine Popular Communications featured an article about the show which noted that Giuliano "rambles at length about trivial social details, offers obscene solutions, and is prepared to verbally assault anything that gets in his way."

From the beginning, Giuliano was very enthusiastic when delivering his material. His enthusiasm sometimes took the form of screaming and pounding the table during recordings. Tyburczy improvised blast filters that helped the electronics cope with these demands along with a crude soundproof booth made out of carpet and 2x4's so that frightened neighbors would refrain from calling the police. Since Giuliano often wore a .357 magnum pistol in a shoulder holster while recording, Tyburczy did not want the police arriving unexpectedly.

At first, the show was given away free to shortwave pirate radio stations in Europe because no one else would touch it. Giuliano's diatribes seemed to have a wildly subversive effect on listeners. One US Army Sgt. stationed at the 701st Military Intelligence Brigade's listening post at Field Station Augsburg in West Germany was court-martialed because he went AWOL after regular exposure to VERBAL ASSAULT (Giuliano received gushing fan letters from him - written from the brig). One can only imagine what Soviet troops hunkered over shortwave receivers in East Germany thought of the show.

VERBAL ASSAULT also received threats from personnel at college stations in the 1980's, particularly WBRS-FM at Brandeis. The young DJ's took Giuliano's maledictions personally (he often referred to them as "candy-assed college boys") and began widely denouncing the show and vocalizing dark-sounding plans to "shut Rocco up".

In July 1990, more members of the 701st MIB in Augsburg deserted their posts, convinced that the end of the world was near and UFO's were coming to take them away. Since old VERBAL ASSAULT tapes were still circulating on the base at the time, there's every reason to believe that the show helped fuel their bizarre delusions.

Approximately 30 episodes of VERBAL ASSAULT were broadcast between 1983 and 1985.

Archival sources include 1/4" audiotapes, cassette copies and airchecks. Audio quality may vary.


Language English

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